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Spain aided US rendition flights: report

[JURIST] The Spanish Foreign Ministry [official website] expressly allowed the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] to use Spanish resources in transporting terror suspects to Guantanamo Bay, according to a 2002 internal Foreign Ministry memorandum [PDF text, in Spanish] released by Madrid's El Pais [report, in Spanish] newspaper on Sunday. According to the document, an official for the ministry granted a CIA request to allow the US to use Spanish air space and military bases for flights between Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The Ministry, now under new leadership since the government of conservative Prime Minister José María Aznar was replaced in 2004 by that of socialist Rodríguez Zapatero, said it would investigate [AP report] whether the country had actually granted the permission. The Spanish government has previously conceded that CIA flights may have stopped on its soil [JURIST report], but denied that it had granted permission for such planes to transport prisoners.

Spain made a similar pledge to investigate [JURIST report] extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] flights that may have passed through the country in 2005 after the European Union (EU) [official website] threatened it with sanctions [JURIST report]. At the time, Spain denied knowledge of any such flights.

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